News / Africa

Kenya Opposition Dialogue Demands, Outside Constitution, Says Official

Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Oringa (file photo)
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Oringa (file photo)
Peter Clottey
Kenya’s presidential spokesperson is questioning a demand by former prime minister and main opposition leader Raila Odinga for dialogue with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government by July 7.

Odinga also wants the administration to come up with a timetable for the withdrawal of the country’s troops from neighboring Somalia, where soldiers have been battling the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

Manoah Esipisu says the opposition leader’s demands are outside of the provisions enshrined in the constitution, which he said provides avenues for dialogue as part of an effort to resolve challenges the country faces.

“It’s one of those demands one looks at and wonders why there should be any demands in the first place,” said Esipisu. “We do believe that we are not in a position where Mr. Odinga could be asking for a forum outside from those ones that are allocated within the constitution.”

Supporters of the former prime minister say the government should take advantage of the demands for dialogue, which they argue could be used to lessen ethnic divisions and tension that often lead to violence.

Esipisu says the administration welcomes any advice that could help find solutions to resolve the country’s challenges, but adds that the opposition leader’s demand for dialogue with subsequent ultimatum is unfortunate.

“If you want to be part of the inclusive nature of dialogue that leads to something then you cannot be attempting to force that dialogue to happen. I think you’ve got to be respectful about it you’ve got to be civil about it,” said Esipisu.

Supporters of the government have accused the opposition leader of trying to foment trouble by creating tension to destabilize the country following his demand for dialogue, despite accepting defeat in Kenya’s last general election.

Meanwhile, some analysts have called for a full scale investigation and the prosecution of community leaders and politicians who are alleged to have incited the youth to violence that led to recent ethnic clashes in parts of the country.

Esipisu says the government has increased security presence in areas which recently saw ethnic clashes.

“Investigations are underway in areas where these have happened. The government does take these things seriously,” said Esipisu. “In Lamu, for instance, we have sent hundreds of police reinforcement to comb the area, bring the perpetrators of this violence to justice.”

“We have in quite a few instances, our director of public prosecution have asked quite a number of politicians to report to police stations to record statements about the speeches that are considered hate speech or hate mongering,” said Esipisu. “Those that are found to be guilty of these offenses will be dealt with in terms of the law.”

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Samuel
June 26, 2014 1:37 PM
Please train yourself in Constructively Cotribute to issues however painful they could be. When all burn Kenya where will we and our children live.


by: beste from: nairobi
June 25, 2014 11:19 AM
Jubilee Govt is full of tribalists, and thieves. President Uhuru seems to be enjoying the mess that hes creating in Kenya. Insecurity has gone overboard yet he won't fire anyone.
He's also giving jobs to just 2 tribes Kikuyu and Kalenjin


by: Innuendo Kamande from: Nairobi
June 25, 2014 8:58 AM
Ethnic tension is building up in Kenya and could explode anytime. The Jubilee government of Uhuru and Ruto are dividing literally everything between Kikuyus and Kalenjins leaving 42 other tribes, which comprise 60% of the population, with nothing. Insecurity and corruption are not helping either. Kenya is a powder keg waiting to happen!


by: jose from: nai
June 25, 2014 6:10 AM
stupid opposition it time you live our country in peace


by: jack thomas
June 25, 2014 2:31 AM
raila is just a lazy idle audience seeker.


by: frejojo from: NAIROBI
June 25, 2014 1:06 AM
its true, constitutional avenues are wide and varied and opposition figure has not attempted any , his agenda must be conclusively equals to chaos. In the new constitution there is a parliament in every county(regardless of the fact Kenya is too small comparatively), and taking into account that when a problem starts of any nature discussion should start at the county level, and could only become national if recommended by the necessary county as provided by the constitution , Odinga has not attempted any constitutional means.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid